The visit

Length of visit sessions

The length of the prison visit varies depending upon which prison you are visiting.

Visit details are on the individual prison pages.

Visits have a fixed start and end time.

If the visit session starts late you will not be allowed an extension.

Where does the visit take place

Visits usually take place in a room with other visit sessions happening at the same time.

They are usually set at tables with four chairs  with the prisoner given a designated position.

Different prisons however have different settings with the low security prisons have outdoor settings.

Contact and touching

Contact is permitted at during regular visiting sessions  such as holding hands. Embracing is allowed at the start and end of the session.

Non-contact visits

Non-contact visits are held in a room designed for this purpose.

These rooms have a barrier between the prisoner and the visitor that prevent contact.

They may also have an intercom phone system.

Non-contact visit occur when we have concerns about the prisoners behaviour.

Prisoner searches

The prisoner will be searched both before and after the visit.

Security

Officers will be on duty during the visit. They will be watching and listening to what is happening in the visit room.
Cameras are also used to monitor our prisons this includes all the areas visitors are permitted

Toilets facilities

Some prisons have toilet facilities within the visiting area.

Some have facilities in the reception area that can be used before or after the visit.

If you need to use these facilities during the visit the visit may be terminated, or moved to the non-contact visit area if there is available space.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted during visiting.

Alcohol and drugs

Alcohol and drugs are not allowed in prison

Any visitor believed to be intoxicated or under the influence of any substance will not be allowed to access the prison.

Inappropriate behaviour

The rules in the visiting area will be clearly displayed.

Inappropriate behaviour by you or the person you are visiting will not be tolerated and may result in:

  • the termination of your visit
  • the visitor being prevented from visiting for a set period of time
  • the police being called. They may decide to charge you with an offence

Inappropriate behaviour includes not following instructions of the Correctional Officers and trying pass contraband.

Helping the person you are visiting

Advice

During your visit try to be calm, quiet and respectful.

We understand that the situation can be stressful, and that both visitors and prisoners can be come emotional and tearful. Please try to avoid inappropriate gestures, language and shouting.

Try to focus on the person you are visiting and ignore the other people in the room.

Think of positive things to talk about and try making a list before you go to the visit.

Think about things that you are grateful for, that have happened since you last met.

The last thing you want to do is get into an argument with your friend or loved one.

There are support groups that can help with coping with the stresses involved in a prison visit.

What to do if you are concerned about a prisoner

Other advice

Correctional Officers are following the rules and guidelines to keep you, other visitors, prisoners and their fellow staff members safe.

If an officer gives you an instruction  you need to follow it. Please do not get angry with them.

Complaints

If you have a problem or a complaint please get in touch with the prison administration, or contact the Central Office after your visit.